Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 20

I’m preparing Harumi and Kotori for their move to Triangle Chance for All and realizing just how incredibly hard it will be not having them here with me. They are very, very dear to me.

How can anyone eat birds so sweet? How can they take from them until their bodies break down? And, how can I convince everyone to stop?

– Linda Nelson


Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 19

This is the last full day that Harumi and Kotori will be sheltered under our roof, and I’m feeling more than a bit weepy. It is always a huge adjustment when one’s babies fly away from home.

I’ve so enjoyed the day to day rhythm of caring for them, and now that it is nearly over, I know I’ll miss it. I’ll even miss cleaning up after two teenage chickens!

They won’t be far away as they have a permanent home at TCA’s micro sanctuary. I keep telling myself I will see them often, and I will, but the hardest part of motherhood is letting go.

– Linda Nelson

Diary of a Mother Hen Day 18

Where are you going, my little ones, little ones?

As Kotori and Harumi grow, they are turning towards each other and out to the world more and more.

They still allow me to stroke their little heads to sleep, and they still run towards my voice when I walk in the room, but they have grown in confidence, and they know so much better than I what it is to be a chicken.

This is all for the good, but I will miss my little peeps … though I am proud of the beautiful birds they are becoming.

Being a mom is bittersweet.

– Linda Nelson

Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 17

I had blotted from memory the frenzied scene from childhood of my five brothers devouring watermelon on a summer day out in the backyard. Watching them was not for the faint of heart as juice flowed down their shirtfronts and seeds flew everywhere like so many ricocheting bullets.

I don’t like watermelon.

I revisited those long gone days of summer when I purchased watermelon for the first time in my adult life in order to offer it to Harumi and Kotori.

They do like watermelon. In fact, they love it, and they ate the slice I had given them in time worthy of the record books.

They were none too dainty about it either, and bonds of sisterhood flew right out the window as they pulled, tugged, yanked, and squawked for more. I thought they might get hurt!

I was tempted to repeat my mother’s mantra heard constantly when she was busy raising eight kids: “You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!”

– Linda Nelson

– Linda Nelson

Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 15

We’re still unsure whether Harumi is male or female. We believe she is an Easter Egger, and it is difficult to determine for awhile.

We won’t be disappointed if she turns out to be a he. We won’t withdraw the sanctuary this little bird has been provided because we can’t get what we want. We won’t place her in a macerating machine or dump her at a shelter.

What we want is very simple. We seek long, happy, protected lives for every one of Triangle Chance for All’s rescues, and female or male, it makes no difference.

Harumi is free to be who she or he is. We won’t harm a feather on our sweet friend’s head. We will protect her from the big, harsh world with unconditional love.

– Linda Nelson

Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 14

I will always remember the moment I saw my son for the first time. I was flooded with love for him as I acknowledged my responsibility.

I changed radically with Ian’s birth. I wanted to be worthy of being his mother so I left my shy self behind. This wasn’t easy for me, but it was necessary if I was going to be the best advocate for Ian as he grew. I wanted a better world for him to live in so I knew I had better go about changing it, and, first, I had to change myself.

Love is a call to action!

I felt a similar flood of feeling when Rosemary and I picked Harumi and Kotori up from the shelter. I wanted to be worthy of taking the place of their missing mothers. I want a better world for them, too.

Now I can hear the voices of many saying, “but, Linda, they’re chickens! How can you compare your love of your son with what you feel for them?”

Isn’t this a mere deflection from the matter at hand? Doesn’t calling my love for my son into question draw attention away from their lack of concern for sentient and suffering animals?

Harumi and Kotori need loving care and concern especially since someone has eaten their mothers!

My work to promote veganism and to save the lives of animals has changed me as profoundly as my son’s birth. In fact, they are part of the same whole, and they can’t be separated.

Love is a call to action!

– Linda Nelson

Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 12










As any new parent will tell you, there is a steep learning curve when new family members enter the house. This is certainly as true for Alan and me now that we’re caring for young chickens as it was when we brought our baby boy or our rescued kittens home.

We’re still learning, but there are some things that are pretty clear.

Harumi and Kotori love each other beyond all else. They are fond of me because I bring food and because I know just where to scratch their heads.

Both girls enjoy being up high (hey, one thing we’re not sure about is that Harumi is a girl!), and Harumi is better at hopping, flapping, and otherwise getting up than Kotori.

Kotori moves like a ballerina!

Kotori is wonderfully systematic and neat when she eats. She will eat a row of millet with such precision that I imagine the ding of an old fashioned typewriter at the end (I hope someone over the age of 50 is reading this!).

Harumi is a messy eater!

They both enjoy pooping in their water dispenser immediately after I clean it. I clean it about six times a day.

They both enjoy pooping in their food dishes immediately after I clean them. I just picked up more dishes at the thrift store so I can offer a clean dish right away.

They love chickweed, kale, millet, sesame seeds, and oats. They really don’t like bananas or red lentil mash.

I’ll figure out more as we continue to care for them, but I know for certain that caring for them has been one of the greatest honors and pleasures of my life. They are just that perfect!

Diary of a Mother Hen – Day 11

If Harumi and Kotori were “broiler” chickens, they would already be dead. Their legs, breasts, and wings, so clearly defined beneath their immature feathering, would have been dredged, and fried, or broiled, or stewed. They would be sauced and slathered and consumed without a thought to the individuals they belonged to.

They are months away from laying eggs, and though they will eventually lay them, they will never be “layers.” The essence of who they are will not ever be about what I or any other can take from them.

We at Triangle Chance for All aren’t waiting for a return on our investment. We seek to give rather than take, and all we want from Harumi and Kotori is that they be safe and well.

– Linda Nelson